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Petition to ease parking misery

Swindon Advertiser: A petition is being started to get a residents’ parking scheme in West Walcot. Pictured are George Mytalas, Coun Ellen Osa, Coun Mark Dempsey and George Townsend A petition is being started to get a residents’ parking scheme in West Walcot. Pictured are George Mytalas, Coun Ellen Osa, Coun Mark Dempsey and George Townsend

A PETITION has been started in a bid to tackle the problem of parked cars clogging up roads and blocking driveways in Old Walcot.

Residents and councillors say those who work in the town centre park on the estate during the week to avoid paying car parking charges.

They also say there is a similar problem on match days, when football fans leave their cars in the area and walk to the County Ground.

Councillors Mark Dempsey (Lab, Parks) and Ellen Osa (Lab, Walcot) have started a petition seeking residents’ support for introducing a residents’ parking scheme in the area.

Coun Dempsey said parking was one of the issues raised during a Labour Listens community consultation event on March 7.

“The problem is that residents cannot park their own cars because, particularly on work days, people who work in town are parking in West Walcot and are clogging up the roads,” he said.

“In certain places the parking congestion is a safety issue because there’s not the visibility to turn corners.

“And also with football match days, it becomes a very acute problem with very little space in the estate for residents’ parking.

“The key bit is we wanted residents to say what they would prefer as a solution.”

Mike Townsend, 72, of Upham Road, who has lived in the area since 1955, said the problem had developed over the last five or six years, and had become worse since parking restrictions between 8am and 10am had been put in place in Lakeside.

Mr Townsend, a former railway worker, said some of the parked cars on the estate were also left by students at New College, who walk from there to the college, in Queen’s Drive.

“There are a lot of people who park daily and walk into town businesses or shops,” he said. “I have never challenged them, I think everybody has got a right to park in the road, but it just becomes a problem, especially for people in places where their drives are blocked.”

“There’s a lady down the road who is partially disabled and she has a job to get out of her drive because the students park in front of her driveway.

“And when you want tradespeople to do work, they do sometimes have a job to get outside the front of the house or on to the driveway.”

Mr Townsend said, rather than a residents’ parking scheme, which would cause issues for visitors and tradesmen, he would prefer parking restrictions between 8am and 10am.

A Swindon Council spokesman said: “We are more than happy to discuss this issue with the local councillors and the residents.

“We have been working closely with the football club about the issue of matchday parking in the area.”

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